12 Nights of Christmas Horror
Written by: The Bat
While the Halloween sections in stores disappear on November 1st, that doesn’t mean that Hollywood puts away the blood as well. While there may not be as many, the Christmas season has its own set of horror movies too. Some are good, and some are terrible. People get killed by Christmas lights, icicles, candy canes, and any other winter holiday decoration you could think of! There are monster-type killers, human-type killers, and even killers dressed as Santa Claus! I’ve put together a list to last you through the 12 days of Christmas. So turn off the lights, grab some Christmas cookies (or whatever type you like), and have fun!
Jack Frost (1997)
Ridiculous in the best way. A serial killer turned wisecracking snowman preys on the small mountain town run by the sheriff who put him away. Yes, think Chucky turned snowman. His rampage through the town has some creative grisly deaths, all snow-related of course. The
creators even managed to make a snowman look more gruesome, no small feat for a creature that normally has no blood or organs. Even with a good amount of gratuitous bloody deaths, this movie isn’t really that scary. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you are in the mood for a Christmas horror film more campy than scary, this one is perfect for you!
Gizmo and the gremlins stole the show. Both the good and bad versions were hilarious and more lovable than most of the shallow human characters. The 80s cinematography added to the ridiculousness of the movie, making us want to laugh even as we see the disaster take place. While it is a monster movie, and some of the things the monsters do to the town and its people are pretty messed up, you just can’t bring yourself to hate them. You even want to cheer and laugh at their silly stunts. As long as the kids aren’t too little to stand a bit of destruction, this is a movie you could watch with the family. One of my absolute favorites!
Better Watch Out (2016)
Babysitter killer movie with the creepiest psycho kid ever. Not too much blood, but tons of shudder factor, although I’m not sure if the shudder was a horror movie shudder or a grossed out at how messed up but also kinda realistic it was. That kid is thorough. And his reason for killing, so weird. Plus it leaves you with a kinda-sorta mystery of some unsaid words that make your head kinda full of weirdness. Pretty darn good.
First impression: very amateur. I think they spent their production budget on the monster mask. Kinda amusing in its shallowness and the stereotypical characters in the beginning. That amusement quickly fades when you realize that is all you are going to get for any of the characters you meet. You have no sympathy for them, nor do you care when they die. Krampus is nothing but an average movie monster, with no back story or reason why it is killing everyone. There is not even good gore; the wounds are the worst I have ever seen. This was barely even funny bad. It was mostly just bad.
The Shining (1980)
Technically I don’t know if this counts as Christmas Horror, but it is the winter holidays and there is lots of snow, so we are going to go with it. Mostly because it was awesome!!
For those of you who haven’t seen it, this movie is about a man who accepts a job as a winter caretaker for a hotel in the mountains that is closed down for the snow season. He and his wife and son have to move up there for the winter and watch it. The man intends to spend a peaceful winter writing a book, but it turns out that the hotel has a dark secret, lots of ghosts, and a bit of madness. Some of the scenes are iconic horror favorites, including an elevator full of blood and an axe chase through a snowy maze. A definite must-see for any horror fan!
This movie is the average Krampus story, with a kid at Christmas wishing that he did not have to celebrate with his dysfunctional family. Krampus descends with wrathful violence, making the entire family appreciate each other. This one was pretty well made, with a good amount of well-done gore and some surprising additions to the Krampus’ rampage. The end is relatively predictable, but it is a fun violent Christmas romp all the same. If you haven’t seen it, I wouldn’t turn it off.
Mercy Christmas (2017)
Anyone ever gotten invited to someone’s home for Christmas Dinner? Did that phrase make anyone think of cannibalism? I would guess that is what happened with this writer. But as silly of an idea as that is, this movie was not half bad. The filmmaking was not anything fancy to speak of but the characters were really well written. I found myself caring about both characters from both the eating and being eaten sides. Also, the blood was pretty well done. They did not overdo the gore and as such kept it pretty real-looking. And the ending fight scene (and you knew there would be one) is actually pretty hilarious. This is a surprising must-watch.
The Children (2008)
This film starts out with nothing but quiet suspicion and a bit of film and sound editing to make ordinary childhood behavior seem sinister. The families seem ordinary, of course a sign of evil to come. A few random scenes that look like they were taken from under a microscope are thrown in to make germaphobes squirm and add a bit of foreshadowing. Then the first death and things start to go crazy. While the children may be the obvious threat, the actions of the adults are just as bad. This movie is a bloody train wreck of impossible situations. And just like a train wreck, I couldn’t look away.
This is your average crazy kidnapper-type movie, set at Christmas time. A woman is working late and finds herself locked into the parking garage of her office. Suddenly the unassuming security guard she never really noticed puts a rag over her face and she wakes up chained to a chair, dressed in unfamiliar clothes. Christmas dinner for two is laid out on the table, romantic style and a guy in a Santa suit is leaning over her….and it just gets weirder from there.
I will say, while not much is unique about the plot of this movie, it is very well done. The creep gets worse and worse. There are plenty of near escapes for our heroine before she is dragged back in and her experience definitely doesn’t leave her unscathed. She has to do things I don’t know if I could do. Definitely a more serious one, but still a good film.
Black Christmas (1974)
A killer stalks a sorority house during the Christmas holiday. First the sorority gets a creepy series of prank calls, full of moaning and screaming. Then people start going missing. This movie doesn’t have many deaths or much gore, but maybe that is normal for the 70s. It is definitely dated, but that doesn’t make it bad. However I am not sure I appreciated it, as more attention was given to the drama between one of the sorority girls and her boyfriend than to the killings, and the movie ended without an ending. Just weird.
Mother Krampus (2017)
Not a bad start. Average curse type story, a group of people killed someone they suspected of being a witch and she cursed them with an ancient evil. This evil comes in the form of a witch that kills in the 12 days before Christmas. 25 years later, this evil witch comes back and starts abducting children and killing people.
The witch is definitely evil enough. Her deaths are creative, gruesome, and torturous. To make them even better, her victims seem to live through to the end of the torture on most of them. That was the best part of this film. The story, while well written, was moderately acted. The cinematography was moderate at best as well. I wouldn’t say this is a bad film, just an unremarkable one.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Good setup for the story. A boy witnesses his parents being killed by a man in a Santa suit. Then he is abused for years in an orphanage with the trauma of his parents’ death going unresolved. Put this boy in a Santa suit at 18 and you have a recipe for disaster of the serial killing type.
This predictable story is acted in such a way that you feel sorry for Billy once he finally starts his murderous rampage, which definitely lends depth to the movie. And the actor that plays Billy as an adult has such a creepy look on his face like he is finally happy. Mix that with the eerily imposed Christmas decorations, and you will get chills as you watch.
The deaths were creatively planned and probably well carried off, for when the movie was made. A little cheap by today’s standards. But the story carries on well through the end. I can see why it became a cult classic. Definitely worth watching.
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